Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) came the closest of any of those on the Judiciary Committee to pulling the words out of Robert Mueller the nation needs to hear. She managed to elicit the admission that the former Special Counsel essentially intended the report to lead to impeachment proceedings against Trump. It was so clearly and artfully done, she deserved a standing ovation. Watch and listen how she leads him step by step.
REP. ESCOBAR: Director Mueller, at your May 29th, 2019 press conference, you explained that, quote, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing, end quote. That process, other than the criminal justice system for accusing a president of wrongdoing, is that impeachment?
MUELLER: I'm not going to comment on that.
REP. ESCOBAR: In your report, you also wrote that you did not want to, quote, potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct, end quote. For the non-lawyers in the room, what did you mean by, quote, potentially preempt constitutional processes?
MUELLER: I'm not going to try to explain that.
REP. ESCOBAR: That actually is coming from page one of Volume II in the footnote is the reference to this. What are those constitutional processes?
MUELLER: I think I heard you mention at least one.
REP. ESCOBAR: Impeachment. Correct?
MUELLER: I'm not going to comment.
REP. ESCOBAR: Okay. That is one of the constitutional processes listed in the report in the footnote in Volume II.
He really needed reassurance that he wasn't going outside the report itself, and she gave it to him. And he was trying soooooo hard not to utter the word impeachment, but she managed with that give-and-take, to elicit it. Sort of.
She said, "What's the remedy?"
He said, "I think I heard you say it."
She said "It's in your report. You can say it."
He said, "I don't wanna say it. You say it."
She said, "Okay, I'll say it. Impeachment."
He said, "Wellllll..."
Then she followed up with confirmation that Mueller's report does indeed document how Trump tried to interfere and obstruct, and how he plans to continue to interfere and obstruct.
REP. ESCOBAR: Well, the president has told us that he intends to fight all the subpoenas. His continued efforts to interfere with investigations of his potential misconduct certainly reinforce the importance of the process the Constitution requires to, quote, formally accuse a sitting president of wrong doing, as you cited in the report. And this hearing has been very helpful to this committee as it exercises its constitutional duty to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president. I agree with you, Director Mueller, that we all have a vital role in holding this president accountable for his actions.
Nicely done, Rep. Escobar. Nicely done.